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Nicotine replacement therapy
Tobacco, or more accurately nicotine is the main substance in cigarettes that causes smokers to have an addiction. When a person smokes, the nicotine acts in many parts of the body and they get used to them. As such, when they want to withdraw from smoking, they will start to develop withdrawal symptoms.
Nicotine replacement therapy, or NRT therefore is a good alternative to aid in the process of smoking cessation. NRT comes in many forms, most commonly:
All of these can help in reducing the physical withdrawal symptoms and enable the person to focus on the psychological part of quitting.
Of course, there are people who don’t need the help of NRT to quit smoking, but many of them do not succeed in quitting in the first try, or even going back to smoking within the first month of quitting due to withdrawal symptoms. NRT can be started as soon as the person stops smoking without having to wait.
Who should not use NRT?
NRT should not be used by people who are still using tobacco, as such usage hasn’t been approved by the FDA.
Possible side effects
Skin irritation (redness and itching)
Sleep problems or unusual dreams (more common with the 24-hour patch)
Muscle aches and stiffness
NRT is meant to be taken for a limited period of time, so if you should feel the need to continue for a longer period of time, then it is best that you discuss it with your health care provider first.
A few myths about smoking
1. Occasional smoking won’t hurt me.
MYTH. People who smoke just a few days a week or just at some social gatherings sometimes think they’ll escape the risks. Don’t buy it. Even relatively small amounts can cause heart attacks, strokes, and even sudden death.
2. 'Light' cigarettes are safer.
MYTH. You can get just as much tar smoking a light cigarette as a regular one. They were manufactured and marketed in a way that was misleading!
3. It’s too late for me to quit.
MYTH. Even if you’ve smoked your whole life, it’s worth it to stop. If you quit at any age, you will improve your health and quality of life!
4. E-cigarettes are a healthy choice.
MYTH. They’re not harmless. The aerosol in e-cigarettes can have damaging chemicals, including nicotine, ultrafine particles you can inhale into your lungs, which can lead to lung diseases as well.
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